Dairy farming is one of the most profitable businesses in the space of agri-business. If you are a dairy farmer or someone wanting to start a dairy farm, there are a lot of factors that are needed to be considered. One of the most important decisions to make while starting a dairy farm is the selection of the breed of cattle. Your choice of cattle can make a big difference in the amount of profit you earn.
India has the largest cattle population in the world. There are various breeds of indigenous cows that give a good yield of milk. These indigenous breeds also have a low maintenance cost unlike foreign breeds like Jersey cows or Holstein Friesian.
In this article, we will talk about the top 5 breeds of cows for profitable dairy farming.
Originated in the Gir forests of the Kathiawar region of Gujarat, the Gir breed of cow is also known by the names of Kathiawari, Surti, and Desan. This breed has unique physical characteristics with curved horns and a hump on the back. One Gir cow can be purchased for around Rs. 1 lakh.
Milk yield: This breed can yield more than 12 liters of milk in a day.
The Sahiwal breed of cow is known for its high milk production and disease resistance. These cows give milk that has high butterfat content and is considered to be of better quality as compared to the milk of imported cows. On average this cow costs around Rs. 65,000- Rs. 75,000.
Milk yield: The Sahiwal cow can give around 8-10 liters of milk per day.
This cow is found in the desert regions of Rajasthan. The Rathi breed is known to have evolved from Sahiwal, Red Sindhi, Tharparkar, and Dhani breeds of cows. The Rathi cows are considered to be tough and can easily survive the harsh climatic conditions of Rajasthan. This cow can cost around Rs. 40,000- Rs. 60,000.
Milk yield: The Rathi cow can give around 7-10 liters of milk in a day.
4. Red Sindhi
The Red Sindhi breed of cattle is known to have originated in the Sindh province of Pakistan. The breed is highly preferred for dairy farmers in Pakistan, India, Nepal, and Bangladesh. It is one of the most economical and highest milk-producing breeds in India. The cost of the cow depends on various factors like age, milk yielding capacity, pregnancy, etc. You can get a Red Sindhi cow at around Rs. 50,000- Rs. 70,000.
Milk yield: This breed of cow can produce around 12 liters of milk per day.
The Ongole breed was originated in Andhra Pradesh and is also exported to countries like Mexico, Indonesia, West Indies, and Mauritius. These are large-sized white cows with broad foreheads and short horns. This breed can also survive in extreme scarcity by reversing down its metabolism.
Milk yield: Ongole breed gives around 20-25 liters of milk per day.
General breed selection tips for a profitable dairy farm
- Before purchasing cattle from a farm/seller, the history sheet or health sheet of the cattle should be checked properly.
- The first five lactations are the best time to check the milking capacity of the cow. Therefore, the selection should be done during the first or second lactation.
- Physical characteristics should also be noticed before selection like the udder should have a good network of vessels.
For more tips and information on profitable dairy farming, you can click here.
Proper selection of the breed of cattle is the first and the most important step in setting up a dairy farm. A dairy farmer should also work on building up his own herd of cattle by in-house breeding. In this article, we have shared information on the 5 most popular breeds of cattle in India. Not just do these breeds have a lower maintenance cost, but they also produce milk that is high in quality.
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